Wildfoot Travel’s Polar travel expert Zoe Savage-Morton was invited along to inspect and gain first had knowledge of The G-Expedition. Invaluable experience when identifying the right expedition vessel for our clients. After meeting the expedition team and undergoing a thorough inspection of the ship, Zoe has listed her thoughts and findings below.
Crew & Expedition staff
A warm welcome awaits, setting a friendly atmosphere for the duration of our 4-hours stay. There is strong solidarity amongst the staff, which presented a genuine family feeling that is shared, creating an immediate comfort for the guests.
A well-experienced and extremely knowledgeable Antarctic and Arctic expedition crew whose aim is to ensure each journey exceeds guests’ expectations introduced themselves and gave a phantom brief on the next voyage to be undertaken. The ships expedition leader, Susan Adie, has over 30 years’ experience as Expedition Operations Manager, Expedition Leader and Naturalist. The whole staff are amongst the most skilled in their fields, Marine Biologists, Geologist, Ornithologist, Historian and Resident Photographers – to mention a few – all making the time onboard a deeper educational and learning experience for guests during their once in a lifetime Arctic and Antarctica cruise experience.
Staff encourage guests to ‘get outside’ on all journeys and are always readily available to assist, advise or teach. A total of 70 staff (15 being the qualified Expedition team) to 130 guests, means a staff to guest ratio of 1:1.8 at full capacity.
Sustainability on board
Refillable Aluminum water bottles are ready and waiting in the cabins, easily accessible water stations are posted throughout the ship. Guests can take the water bottles home.
Beach clean-ups are also encouraged. So, when guests get off the ship, reusable bags are provided to help clear any rubbish, as they explore the Arctic coastlines. This is a part of the Expeditions Marine Debris programme. All waste is then taken back to Svalbard to be recycled.
- The outside area has a large rear deck on split levels, which is excellent for wildlife viewing. There will be BBQ’s available on decks 4 and 5 – weather permitted.
- You can enjoy a 360 degree viewing from the upper deck – perfect for photo opportunities; viewing platform, forward Deck 4.
- There are two large smoking areas, either side of the bar on Deck 5.
- Short promenades either side of the ship Decks 5 and 6.
- The Expedition Lounge (with bar), Polar Bear Pub and dining room all have large windows, so you don’t miss the scenery while cruising along.
- The Expedition Lounge is large enough for all onboard guests for lectures, briefing and re-caps.
- Polar Bear Pub – live music nightly by staff members to keep the experience varied and different.
- Large reception area – the suites are directly of this area. The Expedition team office is to the rear with an open door.
- There is a Lonely Planet Library, which I recommend visiting.
- Computer room – WIFI additional cost.
- If you wanted to maintain fitness while travelling, there is a small, but well kitted out gym. (Zodiac maintenance room just off gym).
- And to relax in, there is a Sauna available – off the mud room Deck 2.
- There is an enormous heated mudroom on Deck 2. Each guest is provided with a numbered spot in the mudroom, shown on their ship I.D. card, their place for the duration of the expedition, therefore, no wet gear in cabins.
- You can find a Gift shop to pick yourself up a souvenir or two.
- FREE medical room if you require any assistance.
- Lift on board.
All cabins are large and spacious with plenty of storage room, feeling a little dated but in good condition – in need of a refresh
All cabins are on the outside of the vessel with either portholes or windows, 220AC electrical outlets with European two pin outlets in cabin and a 110-volt shaving sockets in bathroom. Adapters might be required, but they are free at reception, along with a limited number of hairdryers.
Category 1A Quad
Located on Deck 2 at approx. 160 square feet, with porthole view, two lower berths and two upper berths.
Category 1 Triple
Located on Deck 2 at approx. 160 square feet, with porthole view, two lower berths and one upper berth.
Located on Deck 2 at approx. 160 square feet, with porthole view and two lower berths.
Superior twins – Located on Deck 3 at approx. 160 square feet, with mid-size window and two lower berths.
Premier twins – Located on Deck 4 at approx. 160 square feet, with large window and two lower berths – can be a double.
Located on Deck 4 at approx. 323 square feet, with one queen bed, vanity, separate living area with two-seater couch, armchair, coffee table and desk, and state-of-the-art full-body misting shower. Two of the suites boast floor-to-ceiling windows. All suite entrances are directly off reception.
Open Door Policy
Keys are not given to guests, there is an open door policy, but rest assured, the doors can be locked once guests are in their cabins. However, a key can be requested on arrival.
Activities & Provisions – WEATHER DEPENDENT
Depending on the region, pre-boarding activities are available at an additional cost.
When guest’s board/check-in, they have the opportunity to sign-up to a group – this could be penguins, polar bears, seals or whales, disembarkation for landings is then called by the group, not the deck.
There are enough zodiacs onboard, 13 for all guests to get off at the same time. They don’t like to put more than 10 guests in each. The platform at the rear end of the ship is for guests to get into the zodiacs. Rubber boots and parka are supplied.
Camping is available for guests 18 years and over, a liability waiver form is required, a two-man tent, insulation mats and -20 degree sleeping bags are provided.
Kayaking is booked for the expedition duration.
An open bridge policy exists outside of European water to allow a pleasant walk along the bridge window.
A trip log and photos are given to guests at the end of their expedition as a memorable keepsake.
Citizen Science Involvement
Citizen Science is often described as public participation, which is scientific research conducted by amateurs (onboard guests) – nonprofessional scientists helping the professional scientists’ outcomes, promoting advancements in scientific research and more importantly, increasing the public’s understanding of the research they are doing, why they do it and the science behind it.
Here is an example. After encounters with whales, the Citizen Scientist Programme encourages guests to share their photos and video footage with the Marine Biologist on board, especially those with whales showing clear markings, along with the co-ordinates of where each photo is taken. The scientists will use the information provided in their work.
Dining & Drinking
- There is one dining option available, which is a restaurant with a navy and white setting that is crisp and clean. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere and seats all guests at one time – open seating.
- There is a delicious buffet for breakfast and lunch, and an A La Carte menu for the evening meal.
- The menu has a variety of options available, with the usual dietary requirement options available on request.
- Happy Hour is in the Expedition Lounge before dinner.
- Coffee, tea and water are free and available throughout the day. All other beverages, such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, can be purchased in the dining room, pub or lounge.
- Afternoon tea is served daily.
Experiencing the G Expedition
To enjoy the G Expedition for yourself and create unforgettable memories, you can book your adventure with Wildfoot Travel today. Our expert team are available to guide you through your options and ensure you have the most incredible trip.
More information on the ship can be found here: https://www.wildfoottravel.com/antarctica/vessels/ms-expedition
For itinerary examples, visit the links below:
Wildfoot Travel takes great pride to ensure you have the most memorable experience possible. Get in touch with us for more information about our wildlife holidays and experiences.